The Tuscaloosa, Alabama police department is engaged in an internal affairs investigation after video surfaced of several officers using a stun gun and nightsticks while arresting a University of Alabama student over a noise complaint, AL.com reports.
The video, via The Big Lead, contains graphic language.
The story was broken by The Crimson White, the University of Alabama student paper, on Sunday.
According to reports, police arrived at the apartment to respond to a noise complaint.
In the videos, a Tuscaloosa Police officer stands in the door of an apartment, speaking with several people located in the apartment. Many are filming the officer. The officer is asked multiple times whether anyone is being arrested or detained, and eventually indicates that one male is under arrest, but does not say under what charges.
The video then shows multiple officers charging into the apartment and dragging a student outside where he is tased and struck with nightsticks, seemingly while attempting to put his hands up. All told, three students were arrested (seen at the end of the first segment).
Tuscaloosa PD later confirmed to AL.com that the incident occurred at 3:19 a.m. Sunday morning after receiving calls about the loud music coming from the apartment. Police also confirmed in a Facebook post that an internal affairs investigation was underway.
That tweet matches a statement that Tuscaloosa police Chief Steve Anderson gave to AL.com Sunday.
Anderson continued, saying:
A full investigation of the circumstances that are depicted in these videos will be conducted and all appropriate measures taken to ensure the integrity of the Tuscaloosa Police Department in serving the citizens of Tuscaloosa.
On Reddit, most users expressed dismay at the videos, most interestingly, two users who claimed to have had interactions with the Tuscaloosa police department themselves.
According to Total Frat Move, one of the students was arrested and charged with harassment, obstruction of government operations, and resisting arrest, and was held on $2,000 bail.
UPDATE: According to Fox 6, Chief Anderson confirmed that three of the officers involved in this incident have been placed on administrative leave:
The officer who initially responded to the noise complaint, the officer who used a Taser and the officer who used the baton.
The police chief said the initial responding officer has been with the Tuscaloosa Police Department for eight years, the one who used a Taser for 12 years and the one who used the baton for two years.
Anderson said that he believes every officer on the scene was wearing a body camera.
Fox 6 also confirms and reports the identities of the three students who were arrested, and their charges.
Brandon James Williford, charged with harassment and obstruction of governmental operations
Matthew Macia, charged with obstructing government operations
Caroline Giddis, charged with obstructing governmental operations, resisting arrest and harassment
All three are students at the University of Alabama. Williford is a senior Metallurgical Engineering student, Giddis is a senior double majoring in Public Relations and Spanish, and Macia is a senior studying Economic Arts & Sciences.
At a press conference, Anderson said he was "deeply disturbed" by the video and disappointed in the way his officers conducted themselves in the situation.
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